Thursday, March 08, 2007

5 Things You Didn't Know About Me

1) Back in my early 20s I was an avid comper. It all started when I worked in my £7k per year first job in TV post-production and my boss bollocked me for not owning a telly. I was mad at him. How did he expect me to afford a TV on that salary? I determined if I couldn't buy a TV I would win one and so I got into entering consumer competitions, especially ones that asked for tiebreaker slogans. The plan worked and a few short months later not only did I take delivery of a huge TV with satellite system included, I was also the proud owner of my first CD player and CD collection without forking out any dosh. This hobby petered out after a few years, but brought me many interesting experiences along the way including vacations in Lisbon and Guernsey, dozens of electronic goods, a driving day at Silverstone, bicycles for my sister's children and much, much more. I also presented a Competition spot on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast with Paula Yates, ended up editing Competitor's Journal for a while and wrote a column on the subject of winning competitions for The Daily Mail.

2) I have vowed never to have my hair cut short again. The last time was about 15 years ago and as soon as the first clump of my long locks had been shorn, I sobbed through the rest of the wretched experience.

3) When I hit 40 last year I had my first mammogram. I didn't think much of it, the doctor had been telling me to have one for the past 3 years but I'd always put it off. I wish I hadn't procrastinated - in February 2007 I had to go into hospital and get a suspicious lump removed from my breast. I was very scared at the time, but luckily for me it turned out to be benign. During the whole process I had the most amazing and solid support from dear friends I've met through this blog - some even came to hospital with me to keep me company. (It was a party at my bedside!) The only problem is that I now have an ugly scar which is visible when I wear most of my favourite party dresses. Not to worry, it will fade soon enough, I'm sure. But now you've read this, if you happen to ever spot it (Oi! get your eyes off my boobs), then you'll know what happened and I've saved you the embarrassment of ever needing to ask.
On a related subject, please go and leave some kind words for my favourite New Zealand blogger, Barbara, who was very supportive of me via email during my ordeal, even though she was going through far worse of an ordeal herself. Barbara was not as lucky as me and is currently recovering from a far more serious operation.
IMPORTANT! Ladies - please don't forget to have your mammograms!

4) My mum had dreams of me playing tennis on Centre court at Wimbledon. I trained at tennis at least five times a week when I was a kid. I even qualified as a tennis coach when I was eighteen and thereafter taught little kids to play. When I left home I pretty much put my racket down for good, much to the disappointment of my family. My mum should be pleased, however, that these days I am back on the court - that'll be the Wii tennis court. Am I forgiven?

5) Last night I ate some interesting items including, but not limited to cockscomb, duck tongue, lamb neck, pig tongue and jowl. Thanks to the generous plate sharers at my table.

Thanks for Jeanne who tagged me to do this meme. I am not tagging anyone - if you want to do it - just take it and run with it.

2006 | What vegetable is this?
2005 | Fatemeh is Paper Chef winner

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Me


  • At 8/3/07 11:10, Anonymous Amanda B. said…

    I could only assume you were at Incanto?

    And, hey, I knew all but the last, does that mean you have to e-mail me four new things?

  • At 8/3/07 11:30, Blogger s'kat said…

    Sam, that must have been terrifying... I am so glad you're okay. I have a few more years 'till I need to get a mammogram, but this is good reason to not 'put it off'.

    Wiii tennis ROCKS!

  • At 8/3/07 11:31, Blogger sher said…

    So, glad the lump was benign. They always tell you it's unlikely to be malignant before they do the biopsy--but it's incredibly scary.

    I also played tournament tennis. And my dream was to play Wimbledon. I stopped, mostly due to extreme tendonitis, but I would love to play again.

  • At 8/3/07 13:04, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Poor Sammie. Did not know about the booby trap. Glad it went well.

  • At 8/3/07 13:04, Blogger Beccy said…

    Wow you sound like you were good at tennis Sam, shame you gave up when I was good enough to beat you!!! (Only joking).

    Not sure I like the sound of last nights meal, but then I shouldn't eat with my ears but my mouth aint that right!!!

  • At 8/3/07 13:30, Blogger Barbara said…

    Thanks Sam and no one was more pleased than me to hear you were okay. For everyone else the secret to surviving cancer is "catch it early".

    Trust Monkey Gland to have you eating cockscomb and duck tongues.

  • At 8/3/07 13:41, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sam I'm not quite sure I was aiming for wimbledon- but we did get there in the stands remember I won the tickets as a tennis prize. When I visit we will play wii tennis.

  • At 8/3/07 15:13, Blogger Helene said…

    You are a woman of many talents!
    I found and got operated from a benign lump 4 years ago (28) and it is very scary. I am glad you are ok...kinda puts things in perspective doesn't it?

    Interesting meal...

  • At 8/3/07 19:50, Blogger Celine said…

    I was a tennis player myself but gave up when I moved to a new country, where it was cold and wintry all the time. That guilt of not picking it back up has been eating at me ever since... must feel great taking it up again :)

  • At 9/3/07 05:13, Blogger Jeanne said…

    Wow - now that's an interesting range of things. I am always so crap at entering competitions - I always put of sending the form until the date has passed or something. I wish I could have seen your slot with Paula Yates!!

    I am heading rapidly for the age where I will be "invited" by the NHS to have a mammogram - heaven knows what they'll press between those plates as (ahem) there's not a whole lot to press :o) *Very* glad to hear your lump was only a scare - can't imagine what you must go through waiting for the results. And I can't agree with Barbara more - however scary going to the doctor sounds, leaving it too late is always worse. I'm sure that's what my friend Christelle would tell you if she could - but she died of cervical cancer at the age of 30.

    As for tennis, I was hopeless hopeless hopeless at school. I was in a coaching class segregated by ability rather than age - and I was like twice as old as everyone else in the class. Not sure if I ever psychologically recovered from that...

  • At 9/3/07 06:35, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    I always get anxious when my wife goes to the sylist...he likes to 'play' with her hair and sometimes she comes home with funky haircuts. 2 weeks ago she got a 'cut' and a color...sure she came home with blond hair, but the lenght was the damn same! Needless to say she went back the following week to get it cut shorter. Short short hair can be pulled off only by a few select people IMO

  • At 9/3/07 08:53, Anonymous Luisa said…

    So glad to hear you're okay. :)

  • At 9/3/07 16:36, Anonymous Brett said…

    That must have been terrifying, Sam. Very happy to learn everything turned out fine. And am impressed that you tried all those funky bits at Incanto! Very cool! Can't wait to read more about that experience.

  • At 9/3/07 17:54, Anonymous shelly said…

    Wow, Sam. I'm glad things turned out alright. That must've been scary.

  • At 9/3/07 19:16, Blogger Alice Q said…

    Very interesting Sam, and I'm so glad you're fine. It is a scary experience though and a good reminder!

  • At 10/3/07 06:00, Blogger Anna Haight said…

    The scar will fade, trust me nearly same story (mine was 'turning'), and same place.

  • At 10/3/07 13:21, Blogger Sam said…

    Amanda b - assume correctly. no i dont have to email you 4 new things. You were just lucky to have gotten an advance preview.

    S'kat - if I can help get the message to just one person that is a good thing - until then I kind of felt invincible - now i know i am not.

    sher - I didn't even get a biopsy - they determined it was better under the circumstances to just get rid of it immediately. At least my mind is at rest now.

    cookiecrumb - thank you.

    beccy - that's right indeed - it would make you a better tennis player I am sure.

    barbara - and I would be more pleased than anything if your own operations are succesful.

    mum - i am going to beat you at wii tennis

    helene - it does - I realise that it is quite common and feels better to know we are not alone in these things, thank you

    celine - my mum used to make me play in the rain and the snow - i eas a hardy youngster!

    jeanne - I remember reading about Christelle on your blog and I was moved to tears by the story. It is so unfair that some of us are lucky and others are not. I am certain you wont forget to have your mammogram when the time comes.

    wmm- short hair - too right - I am certainly not someone who can pull it off.

    luisa - thank you

    brett - it was fun looking up cockscomb on the net and coming across your flickr set on the subject

    shelly - it was but it is ok now - little did you know when I was serving up wine at Yield I was doing so with a tender spot and paper stitches,

    alice - thank you - if my post reminds just one reader to have their mammogram them i will be happy

    anna - I am sorry to hear you had to go through the same thing but glad to know you are ok now.

    message to everyone - if any readers out their ever find themselves in the same situation with no one to talk to about it - please don't hesitate to drop me a line and ask any questions about it you might have.


  • At 10/3/07 13:39, Blogger Anne said…

    Oh goodness, on #2! I'm glad you are fine. I just went through something similar in January-a lump under my arm. It turned out to be nursing related (the new babe born in November) and resolved itself. Until I saw my Dr. though, I was mortified. I can only imagine how you felt.

    I'm so very to happy to hear that you had friends there, especially fellow bloggers. I've found a wonderful support system in my blogging buddies!

  • At 18/3/07 12:03, Anonymous stephen said…

    Hi Sam...let me join the chorus in rejoicing that the scare was just's 25 years since I had a piece taken out of me for the purpose of determining whether or not I would continue to live (I lived) but the terror of the wait is still fresh so I understand what you've been through...

    but what I really wanted to say that I don't know how new this design is because I've been a bad (or too busy) blogger and haven't been checking in as often as I should, but it's gorgeous...I can't stop looking at that banner...

    best, Stephen

  • At 20/3/07 10:51, Anonymous farmgirl said…

    Puree a fresh onion and put some on your scar each day (just keep it in a little dish in the fridge). Really. It's amazing how well it works. But of course the best solutions always involve food, don't they? : )

    So glad you're okay.


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